by Ayaz Malik
Omar Khalid, fired another steady round on the third day of the 60th National Amateur Golf Championship to become the sole leader ahead of the final round here at the Karachi Golf Club on Saturday. The lanky Omar, who shared the lead on the second day with Salman Khan after carding an impressive 71, scored 74 in the third round to enjoy a slim one-shot lead on the penultimate day of the prestigious four-day championship.
While Omar, who has a three-day aggregate of 222 (+6) stays at the top spot on the leader-board, the battle for the country’s most coveted Golf title has intensified with the likes of Pakistan No. 1 Umer Khokhar and Ralfay Raja displaying impressive performances in the third round. Ralfay fired the best round of the third day – 72 – to catapult himself to a joint second place with Khokhar. Both are at 223 (+7). The talented Ralfay was in full flow as he made four birdies on holes 4,5,16 and 17 to boost his title hopes.
The big-hitting Khokhar scored another solid round of 74. Three strokes behind them is Islamabad’s Salman Khan who returned with a card of 78. Behind him is the trio of Saim Shazli, Omar Shikoh, Salman Jahangir followed by Karachi’s Mansoor Teli and Lahore’s Qasim Ali Khan. Omar Shikoh was also in top gear, firing a round of 72 to stay in the hunt.
The limelight, however, was once again on Omar Khalid, who also won the 2020 Faldo Series Pakistan under-16 title. Representing host club KGC, Omar started the round with an impressive birdie on the first hole. He also birdied holes 7 and 8 to finish the front nine at 34 (-2). However, he faltered on the back nine where he had four bogeys.
In the senior amateurs’ category, Col Rustam Ali stayed on the top of the leader-board with an aggregate of 153 after the second round. He has a two-shot lead over Mohammad (155). Karachi’s Azhar Abbas is in third place with 156.
Ladies Championship Winners
In the ladies amateurs’ category, Lahore’s Rimsha Ijaz fired a stunning round of 70 to take a big eight-shot lead. Rimsha now has a two-day aggregate of 146 and is well-placed to win the ladies title. In second place is Karachi’s Aania Farooq (154). She is followed by Ghazala Yasmin (156), Humna Amjad (159) and Parkha Ijaz (161).
Following is the amateurs’ leader-board after third round:
222: Omar Khalid
223: Ralfay Raja, Umer Khokhar
226: Salman Khan
227: Saim Shazli, Omar Shikoh, Salman Jahangir
228: Mansoor Teli
229: Qasim Ali Khan
230 Mohsin Zafar
233: Ali Hai, Damil Ataullah
Senior amateurs’ leader-board after second round:
153: Col Rustam Ali
155: Mohammad Ali
156: Azhar Abbas
157: Lt Col Asif Mehdi
158: Col Mohammad Shafi
160: Tariq Mehmood, Sohail K Rana, Haji Ishaq
Ladies amateurs’ leader-board after second round:
146: Rimsha Ijaz
154: Aania Farooq
156: Ghazala Yasmin
159: Humna Amjad
161: Parkha Ijaz.